Are the Callaway X-14 Irons Still Good? Are They Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“It’s hard to believe that the Callaway X-14 irons came out back in 2000 and that people are still seeking them out 22 years later.”
A lot has changed in 22 years but some things stay the same. That is certainly the case with the Callaway X-14 irons which, when they debuted, were targeted toward high handicap golfers.
When we picked up the Callaway X-14 once again for this round of testing, we were reminded of how certain iron design elements are just classics. Looking at the Callaway X-14 irons, you wouldn’t think that they are 22 years old.
They have the look and shaping of game-improvement irons that came out just a few years ago. But are the Callaway X-14 irons still good for modern high handicappers? Let’s find out.
Are the Callaway X-14 Irons Still Good?
“Amazingly, the Callaway X-14 irons still sell for over $200 for a complete set.”
And you know how the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” The fact that complete sets of Callaway X-14 irons are still fetching over $200 on the market is a testament to their classic styling and the value they still hold for high handicappers.
The Callaway X-14 irons sport an all stainless steel construction, which at the end of the day is probably their most dated feature. While stainless steel isn’t the most advanced material for irons, it’s still a solid choice.
Why? Because stainless steel resists twisting very well. The Callaway X-14 irons have high MOI which means the head won’t twist when you miss the sweet spot. More often than not, that will mean straighter shots and more ball speed even when you miss the sweet spot.
The Callaway X-14 irons also use variable face thickness technology which is still used in modern irons. The face is actually thicker near the sole and thins out up near the crown. This helps lower CG and improves forgiveness on low face shots.
Our better testers actually noticed that slight high-face shots were generating significantly more spin too. While this would be great for more advanced players who want more workability, the features of the Callaway X-14 irons make them very good for high handicappers.
Are the Callaway X-14’s Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Callaway X-14 irons have weak lofts, cavity backs and stainless steel construction.”
All of these design elements work together to increase forgiveness. They also have fairly large footprints so they should inspire confidence in the minds of high handicappers. We did notice that low-face mis-hits were still picking up very good ball speed.
However, contact made inward towards the heel usually meant a significant decrease in ball speed. So that might be a problem if you tend to leave the face open a bit on your swing.
Other than that though, it should be smooth sailing for any high handicapper using the Callaway X-14’s. They have weak lofts which means they are ideal for any player who has trouble getting the ball airborne.
Callaway X-14 Vs Callaway Mavrik Irons
“Callaway used artificial intelligence to help construct the faces of the Mavrik irons.”
The point was to optimize ball speed and the Callaway Mavrik irons certainly play hot. Our testers managed an average distance of 196.8 yards with the Mavrik irons while they averaged 192.9 yards with the Callaway X-14’s.
The Mavrik irons produce a lower launch and they are not as forgiving as the Callaway X-14 irons though. They have slightly shorter blades than the Callaway X-14’s and the footprint isn’t as large.
Our general feeling after testing the Callaway X-14’s and the Mavriks side by side was that high handicappers would have an easier time with the former – even if the Mavriks actually played longer.
Callaway X-14 First Impressions
“There is really nothing spectacular about the design of the Callaway X-14 irons.”
In fact, they didn’t make much of an impression on us at all. They look like your average everyday game-improvement irons with cavity backs and moderately large heads. But, once you start swinging them you will get a good idea of their value.
They offer a very solid feel when you pure the ball and vibration is minimal when you miss the sweet spot. They have a fairly chunky look behind the ball and there isn’t a lot about the design to distract you when you’re lining up your which – that’s a good thing.
Callaway X-14 Selling Points
- Stainless steel design
- Cavity back
- High launch
- Variable face thickness
- Good MOI
- Deep undercut cavity
Callaway X-14 Irons Key Technology
“As far as the technology goes, there isn’t much to write home about; but the Callaway X-14’s have it where it counts.”
Variable Face Thickness: The thickness of the faces taper as they get closer to the topline to increase stability and forgiveness on low-face strikes.
Stainless Steel Design: Though pretty standard these days, the all stainless steel design of the Callaway X-14’s was innovative in 2000.
High Launch: The 9-iron in this set is 42 degrees and the launch is high throughout the set
Callaway X-14 Loft & Lie
Who Should Buy the Callaway X-14 Irons?
“The Callaway X-14 irons would be ideal for any high handicapper looking for a quality set of irons on the cheap.”
Overall, the Callaway X-14 irons are pretty basic; but that’s not a bad thing at all. They still have all the features that a high handicapper would need to lower their score and have more fun with the game of golf.